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Herat gets 2 frames in name of ventilators

Herat gets 2 frames in name of ventilators

Jun 28, 2020 - 12:57

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Officials in western Herat province claim the Ministry of Public Healthinfo-icon (MoPH) has sent them four ventilators after the rapid spread of the coronavirus. But two of the devices are mere frames and lack important tools.

After Pajhwok released a report about the smuggling of 32 ventilators to Pakistaninfo-icon, Deputy Minister of Public Health Shafique Shahim told a press conference that all provinces had received the devices based on the number of beds for patients.

2 ventilators sans vital parts

Pajhwok’s findings show that instead of two functional ventilators, only two frames have been sent to Herat province. Both are out of order. Pajhwok closely monitored these ventilators and took their photos and videos.

A delegation from Herat City recently visited the Shaidayee Hospital for Covid-19 patients. The delegates confirmed issues with the devices.

Dr. Barakatullah Mohammadi, a member of the delegation from the health department, told Pajhwok two of the ventilators sent to Herat by MoPH were out of order and could not be utilised.

He added important parts (monitors) were missing from the devices. “The ministry had directly transferred the two ventilators to the Shaidayee Hospital based on its need.”

He added: “When the technical delegation opened the cartons, they came to know that the most important parts of the devices (monitors) were missing. That’s why the machines are out of order. The transfer of these two devices should be investigated.”

A government source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Pajhwok the two devices had been supplied directly from the Herat airport to the hospital without being inspected by the delegation.

“We didn’t need to use the ventilators at the time we bought them in. But when needed, we asked the company to activate them and when the company checked the boxes, it found only frames; there were no important tools and the devices can in no way be called ventilators.”

Meanwhile, Public Health Director Abdul Hakim Tamana confirmed what they received from MoPH in the name of ventilators were just skeletons.

He told Pajhwok: “We have 14 ventilators at the Covid-19 Hospital in Herat. Five of them are installed in the relevant ward, four are dysfunctional and five are active used in case of need. Of the four other devices given by MoPH, two lack essential parts and cannot be used.”

Contradictory figures

MoPH has shared two different lists of ventilators with the media and the Presidential Palace. According to one list, 279 devices are available in 33 provinces of the country.

Based on the two lists, 27 ventilators have been provided to Herat. First list cities 19 devices and the second puts the number at eight. Four of them were donated by Qatar through the Al-Ghurafa Foundation and as many by other organisations.

Meanwhile, Herat Public Health Department spokesman Mohammad Rafiq Sherzad said that 29 ventilators were available in the province.

“Out of a total of 29 devices, 10 have been purchased from the central government’s budget of 400 million afghanis, four were donated by the Al-Ghurafa Foundation, as many sent by MoPH, another four by the Worldinfo-icon Health Organisation, two purchased by residents of Shahrak-i-Jibril and five others provided to Herat hospitals two years ago by the ministry concerned.”

He added five of the ventilators, including the two donated pieces, were dysfunctional.

Herat Zonal Hospital Director Dr. Arif Jalili told Pajhwok: “One ventilator is used in each ward, including surgery and maternity wards. Each one is installed in a specific area. But you cannot go to see them or take their pictures.”

Pajhwok’s findings show that Herat has received 10 devices purchased by the central government and two others donated by residents of Jibril City. The total number thus comes to 39, so a difference of 10 ventilators is clearly visible.

A few days ago, acting Public Health Minister Ahmad Jawad Osmani released on his twitter account a list of countries and organisations that have donated ventilators to Afghanistaninfo-icon.

The list shows Afghanistan has so far received 54 ventilators in aid, including eight from the World Health Organisation, 10 from Turkey, one from a Turkish organisation, two from Iran and seven from Qatar.

However, the minister did not name the suppliers of the remaining 26 ventilators. Of the 54 ventilators, 30 have gone to 13 provinces and 24 are in the central warehouse.

An earlier Pajhwok report quoted MoPH spokesman Akmal Samsor as saying that China had donated four ventilators, Turkey three, Iran three and the World Health Organisation 28 to Afghanistan.

Without elaborating, he said the ministry previously had 270 ventilators, but 40 of them were out of order. A technical expert is needed to repair the devices.

This is the fourth report in a series of ventilators’ monitoring by Pajhwok.


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